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Passions and Emotions

Passions and Emotions: NOMOS LIII

Edited by James E. Fleming
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 350
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qffqb
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  • Book Info
    Passions and Emotions
    Book Description:

    Throughout the history of moral, political, and legal philosophy, many have portrayed passions and emotions as being opposed to reason and good judgment. At the same time, others have defended passions and emotions as tempering reason and enriching judgment, and there is mounting empirical evidence linking emotions to moral judgment. In Passions and Emotions, a group of prominent scholars in philosophy, political science, and law explore three clusters of issues: Passion and Impartiality: Passions and Emotions in Moral Judgment; Passion and Motivation: Passions and Emotions in Democratic Politics; and Passion and Dispassion: Passions and Emotions in Legal Interpretation. This timely, interdisciplinary volume examines many of the theoretical and practical legal, political, and moral issues raised by such questions.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-6349-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
    James E. Fleming
  4. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. PART I. PASSION AND IMPARTIALITY:: PASSIONS AND EMOTIONS IN MORAL JUDGMENT

    • 1 CONSTRUCTIVE SENTIMENTALISM: LEGAL AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS
      (pp. 3-18)
      JESSE J. PRINZ

      There is mounting empirical evidence linking emotions to moral judgment. Though open to competing interpretations, this evidence is best interpreted as supporting the kind of sentimentalist theory associated with philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment. Recent findings also allow us to update sentimentalism by specifying which emotions contribute to moral judgment, and research in history, anthropology, and cross-cultural psychology is providing richer insights into the origins of our emotionally grounded values. If values are emotionally based and culturally diverse, there may be moral conflicts that have no rational resolution. This would have implications for normative ethics, for politics, and for law....

    • 2 SENTIMENTALISM WITHOUT RELATIVISM
      (pp. 19-37)
      MICHAEL L. FRAZER

      We are now in the midst of an exciting multidisciplinary revival of work on the moral sentiments. As recently as 1989, a commentator could reasonably write that he knew “of no living author who has thought to call herself a sentimentalist.”¹ The very existence of the present volume is a testament to just how much times have changed. Scholars across philosophy, political science, law, and psychology are now rediscovering that eighteenth-century sentimentalists such as David Hume and Adam Smith were correct to emphasize the centrality of passion and emotion to moral judgment. This work has profound repercussions for how we...

    • 3 LEGISLATING WITH AFFECT: EMOTION AND LEGISLATIVE LAW MAKING
      (pp. 38-76)
      CAROL SANGER

      The field of “law and emotion” takes on the ambitious task of “reckon[ing] with the myriad ways in which the law reflects or furthers conceptions of how humans are, or ought to be, as emotional creatures.”¹ In her taxonomy of the field, Terry Maroney states that one way has been the “legal actor approach.” On this approach, scholars from our many fields study the people or the categories of people who regularly participate in the activities and arenas of law closely connected to law’s affective concerns: the judges and juries, prosecutors and defenders, victims and defendants for whom mercy, compassion,...

    • 4 THE NATURE AND ETHICS OF VENGEFUL ANGER
      (pp. 77-124)
      CHARLES L. GRISWOLD

      Vengeful anger is the stuff of countless works of literature and art both great and small. Homer’sIliad, one of the founding works of Western literature, begins with a particular word for anger (mênis) and is in some sense about anger and its epic consequences.² Myriad representations of vengefulness also pervade contemporary film, as we see in movies such as Quentin Tarantino’sKill Billseries and in numerous Westerns. It is remarkable how often we encounter the phenomenon in life as well. Reading the news reports of Bernard Madoff’s thievery, for example, one is struck by the character and intensity...

  6. PART II. PASSION AND MOTIVATION:: PASSIONS AND EMOTIONS IN DEMOCRATIC POLITICS

    • 5 REASON, PASSION, AND DEMOCRATIC POLITICS: OLD CONCEPTIONS—NEW UNDERSTANDINGS—NEW POSSIBILITIES
      (pp. 127-188)
      GEORGE E. MARCUS

      Humans are social creatures reliant on both emotionality and reasoning. As a consequence, these qualities and how we understand them are central to the empirical question of how democracy works and to the normative questions of how well it works. The differing assessments of the empirical and normative features of democracy by its friends and critics have sustained ongoing debate extending over the millennia since Athens’s creation sprang into life.¹

      But, even among democracy’s friends, difficulties arise. As Jim Fishkin points out in a recent fine book, democracy often rests on conflicting principles.² And, because these principles conflict, no one...

    • 6 EMOTION AND DELIBERATION: THE AUTONOMOUS CITIZEN IN THE SOCIAL WORLD
      (pp. 189-211)
      SUSAN A. BANDES

      Emotion theory poses a challenge to several of the central verities of democratic theory. Most centrally, it challenges the dominant assumption that the passions play no beneficial role in the process of deliberative democracy. In challenging that assumption, emotion theory raises subsidiary questions about the valorization of autonomous thought and action, the low regard for rhetoric and persuasion, the dismissal of the role of intuition, and the focus on universalizable principles that permeate much of political discourse. In “Reason, Passion, and Democratic Politics,”¹ George Marcus describes these standard premises, explores the current cognitive psychological and neuroscientific evidence that poses a...

    • 7 RELIABLE DEMOCRATIC HABITS AND EMOTIONS
      (pp. 212-225)
      CHESHIRE CALHOUN

      As I understand George Marcus’s project presented here as well as inThe Sentimental Citizenand inAffective Intelligence and Political Judgment, coauthored with Russell Neuman and Michael McKuen, the central goal is to challenge the idea that the aims of democracy are best advanced by supporting and demanding higher levels of deliberation among the electorate.¹ The normative conception on of citizenship that Marcus challenges requires of good citizens that they be knowledgeable, well versed on public-policy issues, capable of applying general principles to particular cases, and able to articulate for themselves and to others their reasons for taking the...

    • 8 DEMOCRACY AND THE NONSOVEREIGN SELF
      (pp. 226-240)
      SHARON R. KRAUSE

      George Marcus’s illuminating chapter uses recent findings in neuroscience to put pressure on some of the foundational assumptions of both descriptive and normative democratic theory. In light of his challenges, we need to rethink not only the capabilities that we typically take for granted in democratic citizens but also the ideals to which we believe citizens should aspire. In particular, Marcus calls into question the capacities (and aspirations) for autonomous thought and action and for political judgment that is grounded in truth and guided by universal principles of right. Behind every conscious thought and action—and prior to every conscious...

  7. PART III. PASSION AND DISPASSION:: PASSIONS AND EMOTIONS IN LEGAL INTERPRETATION

    • 9 THE ANTI-EMPATHIC TURN
      (pp. 243-288)
      ROBIN WEST

      Justice, according to a broad consensus of our greatest twentieth-century judges, requires a particular kind of moral judgment, and that moral judgment requires, among much else, empathy—the ability to understand not just the situation but also the perspective of litigants on warring sides of a lawsuit. In the 1920s, for example, Justice Benjamin Cardozo extolled the virtue and necessity of a broad-ranging empathy in his classic essay on the judicial craft, along with that of fidelity, reason, and wisdom.¹ In the 1970s, the great John Noonan, later a federal judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote an...

    • 10 SYSTEMS AND FEELINGS
      (pp. 289-303)
      KEN I. KERSCH

      Robin West’s “The Anti-Empathic Turn”¹ is an unusually provocative and important reflection. Its central claim is that, in deciding cases, today’s judges are increasingly pressed—educated/trained/inclined—to think of themselves not as doing justice between the parties before them but, rather, as resolving the dispute to produce rules that fit as neatly as possible into a broader regulatory system. As such, judging (once a moral exercise, centered on the parties to the lawsuit, who were trulyseen) is now largely an occasion for the engineering and maintenance of a larger and impersonal administrative and regulatory system (in which the parties...

    • 11 ANTI-EMPATHY AND DISPASSIONATENESS IN ADJUDICATION
      (pp. 304-314)
      BENJAMIN C. ZIPURSKY

      Robin West’s depiction of the anti-empathic turn in adjudication¹ is credible, detailed, and depressing. Most striking is the contrast she draws between the pervasive historical acceptance of the importance of empathy in a great judge and the prevalence of an anti-empathic jurisprudence today. I agree with West on several of her important claims: that this shift has occurred and that it is unfortunate that it has occurred; that Judge Skelly Wright’s decision inWilliams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co.²is defensible and commendable; that empathy has an important epistemic role in adjudication; and that moral principles underlie the common law and...

    • 12 EQUITY OVER EMPATHY
      (pp. 315-330)
      BERNADETTE MEYLER

      In “The Anti-Empathic Turn,”¹ Robin West inquires what accounts for the contemporary aversion to judicial empathy, an aversion represented not only by the political right’s response when President Obama extolled empathy but also by his own Supreme Court appointees’ avoidance of the term.² West’s conclusion connects the shift away from empathy to the rise of a scientific model of judging. Under this new paradigm, social science replaces moral judgment, calculation of future utility supplants backward-looking assessments of circumstances, rules overshadow particularism, and judging becomes assimilated to legislation.

      Many features of this explanation are intuitively appealing and are borne out by...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 331-338)